Goodness gracious, are my feet ugly at the moment! The winter collection of colours does absolutely nothing for them. The gungy mustard tone under the big nail, the pale brown stripes on the others, the black furriness of a few stray foot hairs and the dark grey shade that seems to linger at the base of each toe (or is that just dirt?) all look dreadful on me.
And I don’t dare go any higher up and mention the faux crocodile skin on the shins, embroidered with red polka-dots where I have scratched the horrible winter leg-itch to blood.
Bring on the summer so I can get my holiday feet back. Soft, tanned, hair-free and nail-polished to perfection. Especially last summer when I had a professional manicure and pedicure for the first time ever, thanks to my very generous big blister.
What a treat that was. Two young ladies massaging, kneading, scraping and soaking both my hands and my feet at the same time. A warm, reclining bed, gentle oriental-style music and perfumed air finally sending me off to sleep, leaving my mouth to droop and dribble as they carried on with their work.
The dream stopped when they did.
‘Madam, did you bring open sandals to wear home, to allow the polish to dry?’
‘No, it’s raining. I only have my trainers.’
‘But you don’t want to smudge it, surely?’
And she was damned right. I DIDN’T want to smudge it. I’d been there for almost two hours, my feet were looking beautifully chic and this had cost my sister a pretty little packet. I’d just been too daft to realise that when you have a pedicure done, you cannot put on socks and trainers immediately afterwards. Sophisticated women undoubtedly know this. I didn’t.
‘Don’t worry Madam. We’ll find a solution.’
And they did. It took them a few minutes to create but it allowed me to walk back to my car, avoiding the puddles, looking straight ahead, ignoring the stares and giggles and pretending I had either just had an operation on my feet, or stepped out of a psychiatric clinic.
I shuffled and tripped and plodded along the street, clinging on tightly with my bright, new, red toes.
But I made it. Polish intact. Reputation as a mature, refined fifty-year-old ruined forever.
But who cares? I laughed all the way home in the car, barefoot and fancy-free.
Oh, the things you can do when you’re fifty!